Mercedes lease end return with scratch


The lease on my Mercedes C300 is ending soon and I’m planning to return the car. There is a somewhat large scratch and minor dent on the rear passenger side. I took it to 3 local body shops and they gave me quotes between $1200-$2000. I didn’t get a pre-inspection done and I’m afraid I don’t have enough time for that now. What do you think is the best option - directly return to dealer and pay the extra costs to Mercedes or get it fixed before returning? If I take it to the dealer first, is there a chance that the damage will be recorded in their systems? If that happens then they might reject the repairs done at my local shop and I’ll end up paying twice.

Lease buyout and resell could have been an option but the resale value doesn’t look good right now.

Thanks in advance!

Try to schedule an inspection asap. Otherwise in my experience (MB & Infiniti), the damage deduction is always much less than actually paying for the repair.

Maybe get a one month extension if you want to get the inspection done just to be sure?


May have to account additional renewal of yearly registration if lease is extended. Depending on state of course. Unless you file it as non-op.

Thanks for the reply! I scheduled the inspection.

Is it a good idea to visit a dealership and see if they are willing to take the car in? Nothing to lose right?

Good point re registration fee if I extend lease! I’ll have to check that.

No, there is no reason to visit a dealership until you get the inspection done and are ready to turn the car in. Complete waste of time.

The dealership will of course be “willing” to take the car in, they have to, but you won’t know how much the damage will be. Or they’ll say something like “it shouldn’t be that much” and then you’ll get a bill for $1k with virtually no recourse at that point.

Just get the inspection done, the charge will most likely be way less than you were quoted to fix it. At that point the damage is noted, you’ll know exactly what the charge is, you can then turn the car in and walk away.


Just curious have you gotten the actual payoff vs buyout numbers from Carmax, autonation, Mercedes dealer etc? Might be able to break even or come within maybe $500 if you are lucky, although yes used car prices have dropped and the damage isn’t helping your offer.

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++, MBFS allows for third-party buyouts now, so def get that checked out. Another LH was able to get their parents out of an E-Class that was on return a couple of months ago for nearly a wash, so might be worth the effort even with the changing market.


Nothing to lose except some time. Be specific that you are looking for them to buy the car.

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Thank you all for the great advice! I scheduled a pre-inspection and also I’ll re-check the buyout numbers. Will let you know how it goes :slight_smile:

I got a pre inspection on my e300 before it was due in july. The inspector was surprisingly lenient and only ding me for one curbed wheel and overlooked what I thought was more than wear and tear (dings, someone hit the left bumper while pulling out, tires below allowed tread depth, etc). He assured me that this is a final inspection and they won’t add more things to it at turn in.

Ended up actually selling it to a MB dealer for 4K in equity so the inspection wasn’t even needed. Point being though is my experience with Mercedes is they let a lot slide and their charges are very reasonable.

If the repair cost is less than $500, MB will cover it. Returned two MB already.

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So I got my pre-inspection done and they are going to charge me $520 for the scratch+dent which I think is reasonable and much lower than getting it repaired on my own!
Bad news is that I have a windshield crack which I haven’t noticed before. They are charging me $820 to get this replaced. Would it be cheaper if I got it done on my own? Any suggestions on how I can lower my repair fees?

Call Safelite and see how much it is, if your insurance Deductible is less than $500 it might be worth it.

Does your insurance include full glass coverage?

And how about checking on whether you have equity in it?

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And how about checking on whether you have equity in it?

Based on the online estimates, I might be better off selling it to Carmax.

Few questions:

  • I should consider residual value + sales tax when considering a 3rd party buyout right? Carmax’s offer should be close to or greater than this number?
  • MBFS has a $595 vehicle turn in fee. Do you know if that applies for lease buyout?
  • Overall how does a 3rd party lease buyout work? Is it as simple as dropping off the car at Carmax or does it involve back and forth between MBFS+Carmax?

(I tried searching for these answers online but couldn’t get clear answers)

Does your insurance include full glass coverage?

My deductible is $750 so fixing it myself may not work out. I’m actually surprised that Autovin reported this because the size of the crack is very small.

Just request a payoff quote from MB to see what $ the buyout offers need to beat. It should be a little more than your final residual depending on how many more months are left over. If you’ve made all the payments and are in your last month, then it should be the residual plus the buyout fee ($350?).

CarMax and other resellers pay MBFS directly and won’t need to pay sales tax on it to buy out the lease (unless NJ has weird laws?). Take it to CarMax and they should be able to explain it to you. Essentially you just sign some documents and they take the car. CarMax cuts you the check up front. Other dealers may take a couple of weeks for the title to be delivered.

Also try all of the other options listed in the other thread on here. Personally here in LA, Autonation has consistently offered the highest. And you can shop your highest offer with any other interested buyer and see if any are willing to beat it. On my recent Sienna sale I had two dealers who were willing to top AN by $600.

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That baby spider will grow to have some very long legs :spider: